"We have become homeless because of the war and politics," says an old woman stranded near the Iran-Iraq border, fleeing the 2003 American invasion, in Ali-Reza Amini's The Riverside. It's one of several strong films reflecting the region's endless battles screening at this year's festival. In this absurdist drama, a bride who has stepped on a land mine and can't move without setting it off gradually acquires an audience of fellow wanderers, including the old woman, who's seeking the lost cow that had been her only companion; she tells a protracted story of a bride repeatedly offered nothing but dry bread and fish heads for her wedding feast as a way of advising us to accept "our fate and destiny." Other passers-by include a man carrying the corpse of his child, three men squabbling over yogurt, and a soldier hoping to sell the... More >>>